Recent graduates and current students from Knox College helped youngsters learn cool dance moves, develop computer games, create ceramics, conduct scientific experiments, and participate in other activities at the Knox College for Kids summer enrichment program.
The 2019 edition of College for Kids took place on weekday mornings June 17-28 on the Knox campus, with children from Galesburg and the surrounding communities attending a variety of classes. The selection covered numerous topics, including photography, astronomy, Spanish, chemistry, paddle boarding, moviemaking, and magic.
More than a dozen recent Knox graduates and current students played key roles in College for Kids. Two—Errol Kaylor '19 in the Creating Computer Animations and Games class and Lila Johnson '20 in the Ceramics class—served as instructors. Others were College for Kids fellows who worked as teaching assistants and helped with logistics inside and outside the classroom.
“Serving as an instructor was a really fun time!” said Kaylor, who co-taught with Knox Computer Science Professor David Bunde. “I really got to try to figure out ways to best get information across to the students and identify weak points that were widely shared so that we could address them as a class.”
Kaylor, a computer science major, worked as a College for Kids fellow last year. He said that serving as an instructor this year “was different than my time as a fellow in that I felt more of a compunction to try and get every student fully engaged and [to] benefit from the experience.”
“My primary passion is computer science education, so I love having the opportunity to work with kids at Knox on it,” Kaylor added. After leaving Knox, he will start a job as an associate product manager at Complysci in New York City, New York, and he also hopes to conduct research in computer science education.
Alex Gallo '19, an educational studies major, worked as a College for Kids fellow in two classes taught by Philip Sidney Post Professor of Chemistry Mary Crawford: Fun with Chemistry and Crime Scene Investigation. He helped with various scientific experiments and demonstrations, such as making magnetic “slime” and learning the basics about how lie detectors work.
Gallo appreciated the experience. “Getting to know Mary has been a wonderful opportunity, especially since she has such a wealth of knowledge on her subject (chemistry) and is so open to figuring out how to make that exciting for kids,” he said. “We have had the chance to be really collaborative in how we run the lessons.”
Bryanna Martinez, who will begin her junior year at Knox in the fall, served as a College for Kids fellow in the Theatre Kids and Dance on Broadway classes. In Dance on Broadway, she assisted as instructor Liz Smith taught youngsters a dance routine to accompany a recording of the opening song from Little Shop of Horrors.
“I help my teacher by gathering the children in, keeping them engaged, making sure everyone is being fair to one another and everyone is having a great time,” said Martinez, who is majoring in educational studies and hopes to become a fourth-grade teacher. “I also help students remember choreography.”
“I wanted to play a role in this program because I LOVE working with children,” she added. “They always leave me in awe at how inspiring and creative they can be.”
(Photo at top of page: Some of the 2019 College for Kids Fellows—from left, Sarah Wallenfelsz, Jenny Lau, Katie O'Brien, and Alex Gallo. Photos below: Scenes from College for Kids classes.)